Liana Dalli is the head of marketing at AW Rostamani Lifestyle in Dubai, covering global luxury brands such as Vhernier, Moschino, Chloe, Givenchy and George Jensen, among others.
I felt a connection with Dubai from the moment I landed. I first came here for a business trip and on landing I felt an instant connection with this city. Flying back home after the business trip, I immediately realized that it was time for me to move on.
My job hunt began in Malta. I decided to move to Dubai in March 2011 and set myself the goal of being there by December. I started to aggressively apply for managerial jobs, and by August I got my first job with one of the largest retail companies in Dubai, Al Tayer.
The contrast to life on a small island is huge. In my first job, we had over 104 nationalities working within the company. This was one of the things I enjoyed most - meeting people with different values and backgrounds, learning to understand different working cultures and having to adapt as quickly as possible, since I came from a small island like Malta.
Living abroad is the best decision I’ve ever made. If I had to get this opportunity again, I would have done this at a much younger age. Having to leave my family, my friends, my comfortable home to go to the unknown helped me to mature and taught me life lessons the hard way.
I am proud of what I have achieved. When I moved here, I was an assistant marketing manager. Now I am head of marketing, working with international fashion houses in New York, Milan, Paris and London.
Family is everything. I have kept in close contact with my family from the day I arrived here and speak to them every day. My parents and my sister Shakyra have always supported me and I make it a point to visit at least once a year.
I am an ambassador for my country. I always boast about the beauty of our island and its history, traditions and people. I do my utmost to convince my friends to visit if they have never been.
Malta is home, but it’s too early to return. It’s the million-dollar question, but I do not feel now is the right time yet. I intend to reach my peak in my career and am hoping to achieve this here in Dubai before I return home. But never say never - we simply don’t know what life has prepared for us.
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